READINGS for 2008-04-04

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish…” – John 6:9
Jesus asked, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”
Philip, frowning, replied, “Impossible! We can’t feed these people.” Philip saw things as hopeless situations, maybe a reflection of his own pessimistic attitude.
Andrew, instead of providing a solution, pointed, “That boy there has something. Ask him. I can’t help you.” He placed the burden on somebody else.
The lad was young and insignificant. He offered, “Here Rabbi, I have some bread and fish. If it will ease the hunger of the other children, let them have this.”
Are you like Philip who faces life with negativity, seeing no end to your woes and bringing down everybody around you?
Are you like Andrew who stays in the sidelines and points to somebody else to carry the burden and then blame others when things go wrong?
Or are you like the lad who just keeps quiet and works to contribute, offering what little you have for the sake of others?
Remember, what little you have, when offered to Jesus, can bless a multitude. Jun Asis
Are you like negative Philip, finger-pointing Andrew or the selfless lad?
Lord, help me be like the lad who looks at the solution rather than focusing on the problem and my own selfish interest.


Gamaliel gives wise counsel in today’s reading. If the Christian Gospel is true, then no one with any integrity would want to stand in the way of its proclamation. However, if it is false, it will die a natural death like all other lies. That the Gospel is still here 2000 years later suggests that it is built on truth.
Acts 5: 34-42
34 A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up, ordered the men to be put outside for a short time, 35 and said to them, “Fellow Israelites, be careful what you are about to do to these men. 36 Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed, and all those who were loyal to him were disbanded and came to nothing. 37 After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census. He also drew people after him, but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered. 38 So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. 39 But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.” They were persuaded by him. 40 After recalling the apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. 41 So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 42 And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.
Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13- 14
R: One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? (R) 4 One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek, to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, that I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple. (R) 13 I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. (R)
This miracle of the feeding is the only one of Jesus’ miracles to occur in all four Gospels. I think this tells us that the miracle firmly imprinted itself in the minds of those who witnessed it. They could not possibly forget such a remarkable thing as the multiplication of the food for so many people. Even witnessing such a great miracle was no guarantee that the people would interpret it well. Jesus had to flee in order to avoid politicizing His message by being forcibly crowned king.
John 6: 1-15
1 Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. 2 A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. 3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish feast of Passover was near. 5 When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” 6 He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, 9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. 12 When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. 14 When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” 15 Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
my reflections
think: That the Gospel is still here 2000 years later suggests that it is built on truth.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


Jesus is the Bread of Life. He satisfies our hunger. But not all that we hunger for, mind you.
In the Gospel today, Jesus is pleased to satisfy the hunger of the crowd by offering them the bread of the poor. But He doesn’t satisfy their hunger for power by offering Himself to be their king.
Many subscribe to the claim, Vox populi vox Dei. But we have today a case where the voice of the people is certainly not the voice of God. Let us not be quick to believe that the voice of God is always manifested by the clamor of the people. There are times when the people are already adversely affected by their hunger that their voice no longer echoes the voice of God. Beware of self-serving politicians who use this cliché in favor of their own hunger and greed for power.
If Jesus gave in to the people’s clamor that He be their king because He has miraculously fed them, then Jesus would have been more hungry than the people themselves. Then Jesus would have actually been satisfying His own hunger for power.
The human hunger for dominance is never Jesus’ hunger. Thus, Jesus offers Himself instead as the Bread of life by making Himself the servant of all. His lordship is one of caring for and serving others, of laying down one’s life so that others may live. He who is the Lord of all is actually the servant of all. We see in this the most distinct sign of God’s ultimate reign, where all will be satisfied and no one will languish in the painful curse of any form of hunger.
The Gospel ends with Jesus’ refusal to be made king. To miss this point is to fail to understand the entiremiracle. The point is the service, not the food. It is not the food multiplied that fed the hungry crowd. It is the service rendered that fed them. The miracle is not when people are fed. The miracle is when people allow themselves to be bread broken for others, after the example of Him who came that we may have life and life in abundance (cf. John 10:10). Fr. Bobby Titco
Reflection Question:
Am I fed by others or am I feeding others?
Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Bread of Life, as You feed me with Your own Body and Blood, transform me so that I may become what I received: food of the life of the world. Amen.
St. Isidore of Seville, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

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